At the January meeting of the Duke of Connaught Lodge No 2919 brethren were in for a right treat. A double ceremony for most lodges is something they used to do, but for the Duke of Connaught this is common place. What was different about this ceremony is that the explanation of the second degree tracing board was presented slightly differently than usual.
The lodge which meets on the last Saturday of the month was opened by WM Lee Martin who conducted the normal business of the lodge. This business being completed Lee announced that the next item of business would be to pass both Dave Cooley and Adam Day to the second degree.
Over 40 brethren were in attendance for this ceremony including visitors; Alex Halford from Antient Briton Lodge No 1675 who is Adam’s father-in-law; Peter Kenrick from Perfect Ashlar Lodge No 5246 Adam’s brother-in-law and Gareth Porter, Adam’s school friend also from Perfect Ashlar Lodge.
Having been prepared for the ceremony by veteran professional tyler Alan Campbell, Richard Giles the inner guard announced a report which was to be the start of this ceremony, following which Dave and Adam were received into the lodge by Keith Burke and Al Horn, the junior and senior deacons respectively.
Lee and both the deacons conducted a fantastic ceremony due in no small part to the work they had put in during rehearsals. Steve Cox the senior warden was then given the honour with the help of Howard Lawson in investing Dave and Adam with the badge of a fellowcraft Freemason.
The IPM presented an explanation of the working tools of the second degree, after which the candidates then retired from the lodge to restore themselves to their personal comforts.
While the candidates were outside the lodge a larger second degree tracing board was set up and Paul Renton fired up his laptop and projector which was a first for the Southport Group. The candidates were admitted and asked to take a seat for the next part of the ceremony.
With Paul Renton in charge of the laptop to control the sound effects and images projected on to a screen, Al Horn, Steve Cox and John Martin shared an excellent explanation of the second degree tracing board. This presentation highlighted in detail what all of us have seen close up only once.
Following the presentation the candidates were congratulated by Lee on taking the next step in their Masonic career and then Al Horn, the lodge mentor, presented the candidates with their second degree information packs.
The ceremony being completed Lee thanked Paul for choosing the Duke of Connaught to do this presentation and he said he was sure more lodges would be interested in seeing this.
With all the other business being completed the lodge was closed by Steve Cox and the brethren retired to the Hannay dining room for a wonderful festive board that consisted of carrot and coriander soup, mixed grill with chips, (the worshipful masters favourite), and hot cherries and ice cream. As with every Duke of Connaught festive board, a lot of fun was had by all and we are sure the visitors all had a very pleasant evening.